Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 30 October 2010

Shedding tears for an elusive unity


By Ahmed Elzobier

October 29, 2010 — The crying season has started in Northern Sudan. It was reported that the hard-line politician Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie, the Assistant of the President, cried on Wednesday 27 October in response to an emotional statement by an SPLM member during a women’s conference on unity and peace at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. It was reported that most participants at the meeting also cried. Ekhlas Garang, an SPLM member, made a tearful statement telling the conference that “it was unreasonable to ask people to cross from the north to the south using passports”. “These people belong to one country and it is painful to split relationships of the womb and blood”, pleaded Ms Garang.

Those who know the government tough guy, Dr. Ali Nafie, were bewildered as he has repeatedly said that he has no remorse for killing the 28 military officers involved in the failed coup attempt in April 1991, and during his tenure as Security Director from 1989 to 1995 the country witnessed the worst period of torture recorded in the modern history of Sudan. He was famously known to have been involved in the torture of his teacher and colleague Dr. Farouk Mohamed Ibrahim, former Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science at the University of Khartoum. Dr. Ibrahim was repeatedly kicked, beaten and flogged in 1989 for, among other things, the teaching of evolutionary theory at the university.

Whether these tears are genuine or not, only the coming days will tell. However, this is all in stark contrast with the dry-eyed statements of other NCP members like the Minister for Information, who only last month said, “We will not even give them [southern Sudanese in the north] a needle in the hospitals”. Some of these figures resemble the lead character in the film Primal Fear, and perhaps in the court of history they will plead insanity, “it is Roy who did it, not Aaron”, a classic case of multiple personality disorder. An American diplomat who recently met with some of these “leading figures” in Khartoum has expressed concern about the level of confusion among the party elites, saying “they are in disarray on all the major issues”.

However, the tear-shedding is not an NCP monopoly, it was also reported that the SPLM leader Pagan Amum cried when he listened to the South Sudan anthem in Juba. As the referendum inches nearer many of us will become emotional for various reasons. For those of us who would like to shed some tears, please cry for those who have lost their lives, for the displaced and dispossessed. Cry for our ignorance, negligence and indifference. As the map of this country will not be the same, poems and songs need to be rewritten. Dances and rhythms need to be adapted, history and geography lessons need to be adjusted. The title of the “largest country in Africa” will be forever lost. In such trying times, nations need leaders that are more transcending and transformative – but we do not have them! In our messy Sudan we have undoubtedly killed our Ghandi or Mandela somewhere inside a young mother’s womb in the past fifty years.

Nevertheless, in Khartoum a campaign called Citizenship Rights and People Unity, although belated, was launched on 27 October at the Al Khatim Adlan Centre. The authors of this initiative recognize that the issue of citizenship will be the most critical one among all pre- and post-referendum arrangements and a series of workshops was organized by the Centre last month to provide a focus for the campaign.

The initiative calls upon all Sudanese people to support the following proposals:

1) The recognition of the principle of dual nationality for southern Sudanese living in the north and who wish to remain in the north, northern Sudanese in the south who wish to remain in the south, and the pastoralist tribes in the border areas.

2) Respect for the “four freedoms”: freedom of movement, residence, ownership and work. These too should be agreed upon and announced before the referendum.

They further insist that the two parties to the peace agreement should “refrain from inflammatory public statements so that citizens from southern Sudan who live in the north, and those from the north living in the south, can feel secure in their life and property”.

This statement of rights “will be available to all Sudanese to sign inside and outside Sudan”, announced the campaigners. The man behind such a noble idea is Dr. Farouk Mohamed Ibrahim – while his tormentors are shedding tears for their lost unity in the other side of the city, he remains cool, calm and collected and, as always, humane and dignified.

The author is a Sudan Tribune journalist, he can be reached at ahmed.elzobir@gmail.com


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  • 30 October 2010 05:54, by Samir mahmoud

    Dear Ahmed Elzobier
    Some of us still hope,against hope,that our country will pass this tumult,that from amongst us will emerge the visionary who will lead us to reason and ratinoalize,we all pinned our hopes on the SPLM,it is true we lost Dr. Garang,it is also true that some brothers see in secession a solution ,but it is a partial solution in my view,though they are right in their choice,should they decide to secede,but I am sure that the SPLM leadership is also aware,that their real and ultimate success is in the new sudan,the united,democratic and new Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 30 October 2010 07:23, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Over fourty years of tumoil is far too much. Over two million lives lost for nothing except for declaration of the identity Almighty God has given them and refusal to pick up an artificial identity. In addition, the religion they believe they were free to choose without the interference of the nation became actually a state crime;a thing that is incomprensible to a sober minded human being. The answer all these is what CPA gears to address. So believe me a genuine freedom searching Southern Sudanese will definitely knows the answer. It is between death or life. Because life under Jallaba is not different to life in death. Jallaba brought it to themselves. They should not regret. Let the people of South Sudan self-determine their destiny.

      repondre message

  • 30 October 2010 07:23, by telfajbago

    While the genocidaires of the National Criminals Party ( NCP) are shedding crocodile tears over a unity of a country that they did not respected; we are smiling of being lucky of witnessing the dismantling of our own Country that build on elusive identity, foundation of injustice and enslaving of others( I would rather see my own Country be dismantled to acres; and even huts; than to die being third or second class citizen on the land of my ancestors ).I can unite with somebody who has deep sense of nationhood and understand what does unity means but not with people obsessed by cleansing me from the surface of the earth in order to make use of the seen and unseen resources. Today; the hoodlums such as Nafie are shedding tears not because of their love to the country but mainly of the oil. If they are feeling the real remorse or a sorrow why not stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

    repondre message

    • 30 October 2010 08:12, by Samir mahmoud

      We united before and brought down the Abboud Regime,in 1964 and again we united and got rid of Numeiry and together we will get rid of them,so why let them get away with two thirds of your country.

      repondre message

  • 30 October 2010 08:37, by DASODIKO

    Fox tears then will be followed by tears of war? When you find Islamist cry for the death of his father; don’t missunderstand that he is shedding tears because he lost his father; but; what he will benefit from his death????

    repondre message

  • 30 October 2010 16:51, by Deng Chol Malual

    Dear former citizens-mate,

    I hope the lost of Sudan identities is little compared to 4 Million life lost in 50 years of struggles. That population would have grown to over 20 Million peoples on the Earth today as Almighty God recommended procreation for mankind.

    Even though, the South is going with one third of their ancestral land of Kush. It is part of demonstrating the equity in distribution of resources.

    The world will see that Southerners have given two third of the land to their brothers Nuba, Funj, Darfur and Beja, not the landless migrants.

    We will be neighbors.

    Thank you,

    Deng Chol

    repondre message

    • 30 October 2010 23:22, by Samir mahmoud

      Dear Deng
      In the ancient history of the Sudan,King Pianchy of the Sudan,moved Northward and tool over power to save the Kingdom,is’nt it time for the South now tomove Northward to save the Sudan,instead of taking one third of the Kingdom?
      What happens in the two thirds will no doubt affect the one third.

      repondre message

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